Wednesday, 11 October 2017

On the College of Health Tech Students' Protest —by Daniel Agbor

Daniel Agbor|11 October 2017 

There are things that ordinarily will bring the wrath of God on perpetrators and there are a times docility and silence just can't be golden. 

It has been noticed that one of the characteristics of the Ayade led administration. I mean one thing that has played out prominently is protest. Either from the Cripple Association, Militants, Pensioners, Drivers, Keke Operators, Lorry Drivers/Tanker Drivers, Quarries, Civil Servants, Cult Groups, 100 Marian etc. The list is unending and frightening too. Few weeks ago, precisely on the 11th of September, 2017. The students of the Cross River State College of Health Technology popularly known as Health Tech took to the street around their college compound and entrance in protest against certain perceived illegalities which among other things were: 
1. Reduction of fee to 5% as agreed
2. Restoration of the SUG
3. Poor Social Amenities/Unavailability of it etc

Many dismissed their protest as being nonsensical and baseless. As usual, they were given labels such as: recalcitrants,  prostitutes, destitute, good for nothing etc. 

But a cursory look at some of the banners in display said a lot and should not be dismissed as handiwork of misguided people. One of the issues raised include the use of expired matrass, bed bug colonies, rats and other degrading and dehumanizing conditions for a school expected to be a pace setter in the health sector. 

If there was an agreement, why can't the government honour it? Imagine me asking when I know our government at all levels do not honour agreement. Yet they are so fast to clamp down on perceived irritants and defaulters to their obnoxious demands and rules. 

Whether we like it or not, it's our brothers, sisters, children etc that are in Health Tech and one way or the other will feel the hit of our action(s). The issues raised by the students have not been addressed yet the school is requesting the students to sign an undertaken and telling the authorities thank you for stealing from us. Or what else will one call it when a Student Union Government is not in place yet the students are paying for it. Who collects the money? 

The whole scenario is getting out of hand. One begins to ask about Government involvement of non involvement. 
It's total criminality to categorically state that SUG stands disbanded or abolish yet the students are still to pay SUG dues. Who is this money paid to and for what? Management?

The hostels is another thing of concern. The conditions there just rose astronomically high overnight. Money is suddenly glorified above everything. So sad at the situation that the graduates of this school are treated as half bake in the state nay the country. 

Methinks that the school is very glad to occupy the position of a glorified secondary school as everything that concern values, objectives, goals has been eroded. Its so bitter that the authorities now concern themselves with the signing of undertaken by the students. 

What's there to be scared of it transparency and equity were in play? What's there to be scare of if what the students protested against were not true. Yet the only thing the authority could do was to produce undertaking forms which were to be downloaded, filled and signed and submitted.

It's so funny that the students were threatened not to divulge whatever information or any other event to the public or the media. (See the undertaking Form in the pictures attached) 

What's there to be scare of if something fishy is not going on in the school. 

The item 14 is indeed laughable. It's indeed a paradox cum ambivalence of human interest in demonstration. 

The entirety of Cross Riverians are stakeholders in that College. We have the right to know the truth position of things going on there and we are free and at liberty to demand for them. It is totally wrong for any one, persons, group of persons to play or toy with lives of people. It behoves on the authority to improve on their conditions and ensure proper service delivery rather than playing god.

Daniel Agbor 
Is a Social Commentator 

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